As one of the leading game retailers, GameStop is a perennial source of deals for casual and die-hard gamers alike. Once limited to video games, the chain now offers movies, toys, collectibles, apparel, and more, giving shoppers plenty of opportunities to save money. Here are 10 ways to get the best deals at GameStop all year round.
If you're serious about saving money at GameStop, the first thing you should do is sign up for the PowerUp Pro Rewards program. For an annual fee of $14.99, you get access to various perks, including a 10 percent bonus credit on trade-ins, 10 percent savings on pre-owned items, and a 12-month subscription to Game Informer Magazine in print or digital format.
You'll also earn 20 points for every dollar spent that you can redeem for additional savings. Couple these perks with holiday sales to get great deals you won't find anywhere else.
GameStop publishes a weekly ad with plenty of opportunities to save. You can view the ads on GameStop.com, and many of the promotions apply to both in-store and online purchases. You can also explore their online Deals section to see the latest savings by platform and popular deals. If you're a PowerUp Rewards member (which you should be), look for the Buy 2, Get 1 Free sale.
You don't need scissors to clip coupons. As a PowerUp Rewards member, you'll receive an email with a coupon every year on your birthday month. The coupon is good for 20 percent off your next GameStop purchase, no strings attached or minimum purchase required. When you apply the coupon to your order, you'll save money and earn PowerUp Rewards points, which you can then spend on additional coupons. If you're an avid gamer, you can rack up impressive savings and play all the games you could ever want.
Sometimes, the best GameStop deals are the ones you can't find online. Many official stores have clearance sales for games and collectibles that have sat on shelves for too long. You can uncover everything—from obscure video games to quirky accessories and decorations—for pennies on the dollar. What you find will vary from store to store. If you're heading out, swing by a few GameStops on the way. A rare find or perfect gift could be waiting for you.
Die-hard gamers need no introduction to the pre-ordering process, but if you're new to the scene, it can pay to hop on the bandwagon. When you pre-order a game at GameStop, you put down $5 to $10 to reserve your copy. You can then pay off the remaining balance at your own pace, provided it's paid in full by the game's release. This gives you more flexibility than shelling out for the full price of the game all at once. Many pre-orders also come with bonus items like a poster, figurine, accessory, or exclusive code to unlock something in the game itself. If nothing else, pre-ordering will guarantee you a copy on release day, saving you from the disappointment of sold-out stock.
GameStop offers store credit for your used games and consoles. You can browse trade-in values at their official website, but note that these values can vary based on the condition of your game and the particular store's inventory of that game. More recent titles and popular franchises will usually command higher trade-in values than older and less popular titles.
Browse the weekly ad and look for trade-in specials, which may offer up to 40 percent bonus credit. GameStop often offers bonus credit for trade-ins that go toward the purchase of a specific game. For example, you might get 15 to 20 percent more for your trade-ins if you use the credit to purchase the latest Pokémon, Call of Duty, or Mortal Kombat release.
When you trade in a game, the store can add the value to your PowerUp Rewards card. GameStop credit doesn't expire, so you can spend them whenever you'd like.
Like any retailer, GameStop values their merchandise based on supply and demand. Some games fizzle out shortly after release, while others stay popular for years. Big-name franchises like Pokémon and The Legend of Zelda will reliably sell for higher prices than most niche titles.
Keep an eye on what's trending. Games based on movies and TV shows may be hot for a few weeks, but will most likely fade into obscurity. Sports games are the most notorious for coming out hot but cooling off fast. If you want to trade these games in, do it as soon as possible.
Would you pay top dollar for a scratched-up disc with soda stains? No? Neither will GameStop. The condition of your games and consoles plays a huge role in their trade-in value. So, treat your stuff with care. Keep all original boxes, manuals, and accessories. Don't slam or shove your games into the consoles. Store your games carefully and dust off your consoles regularly.
Inspect your stuff before bringing them in to the store. You can use a microfiber cloth to spot clean small stains and caked-on dirt. Make sure everything is in working order. If some of your stuff has seen better days, know that GameStop will likely give you a lower offer or even refuse to buy them outright.
The bottom line: take care of your games to maximize their value.
The best way to get deals at GameStop is to stack your savings. For example, you could combine an advertised trade-in bonus with your 10 percent PowerUp Rewards bonus, and then use that credit on a Buy 2, Get 1 Free promotion. You can also factor in your 20 percent off birthday coupon, 10 percent discount on used games, and clearance deals. The more you can stack, the more you'll save.
Lastly, don't put all your eggs in the GameStop basket. It's easy to get drawn in by flashy promotions and trade-in deals, but taking the time to compare prices will almost always net you more bang for your buck.
Use GameStop's values as a benchmark. Compare their trade-in offers to sold used copies of the game on eBay. Look at prices for new and used games on Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Target, and other online and brick-and-mortar shops. For example, you might be able to sell your used games on eBay or to a friend for much more than what any other place would offer. You could then put that money toward a GameStop sale and get much more value than you would have from the trade-in route.
Know your options and be smart with what you buy and trade. With some planning and research, you can snag impressive deals at GameStop or elsewhere.